Image of Barramal by Daikota Nelson

Submissions on the proposed renaming of Jim Crow Creek have closed. We have now moved into the assessment phase of the project.

Background

Hepburn Shire Council is committed to reconciliation, working positively today and into the future with the Dja Dja Wurrung (Traditional Owners) and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members to learn, acknowledge and move forward together. In continuing with this commitment to reconciliation it is proposed that Jim Crow Creek is renamed. The reason behind the proposed name change is twofold:

  • the recognition of Aboriginal heritage and the reinstatement of Dja Dja Wurrung language into the landscape,
  • and the removal of a name that is offensive and derogatory.

The history of the term ‘Jim Crow’ is rooted in racial segregation and anti-black racism. In 1828 a US white actor Thomas Dartmouth, known as ‘Daddy Rice’, developed the first popular blackface minstrel character called Jim Crow. Rice became a hit on the world stage with his performance of ‘Jump Jim Crow’ a song and dance routine portraying an enslaved, disheveled and grossly stereotyped African American. ‘Jim Crow’ became a racist term to refer to ‘black people’ worldwide and became the foundation for the ‘Jim Crow Laws’ in the United States (1877 to 1965), making discrimination and racial segregation legal and enforceable.

Historical sources indicate that the name Jim Crow was likely first applied to the area of Lalgambook/Mt Franklin by Captain John Hepburn in the 1830’s. The term Jim Crow was used by squatters, government representatives and miners to refer to the mountain, the Aboriginal Protectorate, the ‘Tribe’, individual Aboriginal people, the creek, the goldfields (diggings) and district. There are many precedents for removing racially offensive terms in the Australian landscape. Mount Jim Crow in Queensland was legally restored to the Darumbal (Traditional Owners) name of Baga in 2018.

In Hepburn Shire, reinstating a name that re-connects our community with the Dja Dja Wurrung culture and language that spans many thousands of years, sets the standard for how we can support the Dja Dja Wurrung Peoples to reinstate language in our landscape.

The new name proposed by DJAARA (formerly the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation) and supported by Djaara Elders, is Larni Barramal Yaluk. The name translates to ‘Home or habitat of the Emu Creek’. Another translation given is ‘the resting place of the Emu’. The crater at Mt Franklin/Lalgambook had this name because the crater resembles the Emu nest. The Country surrounding this was also referred to as Larni Barramal because the springs and swamps there provided water to emu. The Creek would also provide water, therefore, renaming the Creek Larni Barramal after this area was agreed to by the Traditional Owners.

It is important to note that the name Jim Crow Creek will be reserved in the state’s geographic names register as an historic name and will remain a part of the region’s history.

Video

A short film has been prepared for you to further understand why Larni Barramal is significant to the Dja Dja Wurrung Peoples and to hear how to say the proposed name.

How to pronounce "Larni barramal yaluk"

Map

Map of Jim Crow Creek

How do I lodge a submission?

Any person or organisation can lodge a submission in objection or in support of the proposed renaming of Jim Crow Creek. A submission is a way for community members to let Council know that one or more people disagree/agree with the renaming proposal. The submission must explain why a proposal is opposed or supported. Simply lodging opposition or support without an explanation does not help Council understand the underlying issues or benefits.

Submissions, including petitions, should at a minimum explain:

  • the person’s or group’s interest in the naming proposal – e.g. whether they have a personal link with the place and/or name
  • reasons for the name being either inappropriate/appropriate, unsuitable/suitable or unsupported/supported, including how it does or does not comply with the naming rules.

Note: If a petition is used to object or support a naming proposal then a statement within the petition must, as a minimum, address the two points above. Signatories must include their printed name and property address.

Submissions should be sent to the following:

Address: PO Box 21 Daylesford 3460

Email: creekrenaming@hepburn.vic.gov.au

When making submissions please note the Privacy Statement below. Submissions must be received by Council either by email or mail by 12 November.

For more detailed information on how to support or object to the proposed renaming please refer to the naming rules and the resources contained on the state government website www.land.vic.gov.au/place-naming particularly section 8.1 of the naming rules.

Privacy Statement

Hepburn Shire Council is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian Privacy laws. The information you provide will be used to enable Hepburn Shire Council to provide updates and notifications to you on the Proposed Renaming of Jim Crow Creek.

The information you provide will be made available to the Proposed Renaming Project Control Group (Hepburn Shire Council Staff) who will review submitted information and determine the outcome of the response in accordance with statutory requirements in Naming Rules for Places in Victoria (2016). If you do not provide your name and address, council will not be able to consider your application and provide information back to you on the status of the project. De-identified results of this survey may be made available on a Hepburn Shire Council platform and to Geographic Names Victoria (GNV) or Vicmap Editing Service (VES) in compliance with Naming Rules for Places in Victoria

FAQs

Who can participate and how?

If you own property, live or operate businesses within 200 metres of Jim Crow Creek you are deemed under the Naming Rules as being ‘immediately effected’. Community considered as ‘immediately effected’ will receive a letter explaining the project and a copy of the survey. The survey is the means by which the immediate community can communicate their support or objection to the proposed renaming. These surveys must be posted back and received by Council 12 November 2021.

We recognise that the extended community and other organisations may also have an interest in the proposed renaming project.

You can email Council at creekrenaming@hepburn.vic.gov.au or contact our Reconciliation Officer, Donna Spiller on 0417 004 983.

What is the process?

The renaming process is outline in the Naming rules for places in Victoria – statutory requirement for naming roads, features and localities 2016. The engagement phase of the project will be held 30 September to 12 November 2021.

All submissions must be included in an assessment report, stating the objection or support for the proposal, indicating relevance to the naming rules and Council’s consideration/response to the submission.

We will keep the community updated on specific dates for each step in the process via the Timeline feature on this page.

How is the decision made?

Upon the conclusion of the public consultation period (30 September and 12 November 2021) an assessment report will be compiled by specialist staff and an officer’s recommendation will go to Council. The community will be notified of the officers recommendation. If the recommendation is to proceed with the submission to Geographic Names Victoria (GNV), objections can be made at Council within a 30 day period. Council will consider the submission and decide on whether to lodge a proposal to GNV.

If a naming proposal is lodged with the Office of Geographic Names, it can take anywhere between 30 to 60 days to be audited before a final endorsement is made. This 30 day period is to allow time for objectors to lodge an appeal, as provided in section 8 and 11.1 in the Naming Rules for Places in Victoria.

Why are we renaming?

The reason behind the proposed name change is twofold:

  • the recognition of Aboriginal heritage and the reinstatement of Dja Dja Wurrung language into the landscape,
  • and the removal of a name that is offensive and derogatory.

The following naming principles are applicable in the case:

Principle (E) of the Naming rules for places in Victoria – Statutory requirements for naming roads, features and localities – 2016, states that place names must not discriminate. Many people find the name/term Jim Crow to be offensive.

Principle (F) states that the use of Aboriginal languages in the naming of roads, features and localities is encouraged, subject to agreement from the relevant Traditional Owner group(s).

For more information relating to the history of the term ‘Jim Crow’ please see the Document library for more information.

Why can’t we have dual name?

The dual naming process is not appropriate in this instance for two reasons. Firstly, the retention of the phrase ‘Jim Crow’ in the name would defeat the purpose of the proposed renaming, that being that the term Jim Crow is offensive. Secondly, Jim Crow Larni Barramal Creek is too long according to the naming rules.

Are we erasing history?

No, the name Jim Crow will be reserved in the state’s geographic names register as a historic name and will remain a part of the region’s history.

Can we propose other names?

The purpose of this engagement is to determine the level of support for the proposed name. It is outside the scope of this engagement to discuss other names. DJAARA have identified the name Larni Barramal Yaluk (home/habitat of the emu creek). Larni Barramal Yaluk meets the principles of the Naming Rules and will be the only name considered during the consultation process.

If you have any other questions you would like answered please contact us on creekrenaming@hepburn.vic.gov.au.